Discovery Of Massive Aquifers Could Be Game Changer For Kenya | WAMU 88.5 - American University Radio

NPR : News

Discovery Of Massive Aquifers Could Be Game Changer For Kenya

Satellite imagery and seismic data have identified two huge underground aquifers in Kenya's drought-prone north, a discovery that could be "a game changer" for the country, NPR's Gregory Warner reports.

The aquifers, located hundreds of feet underground in the Turkana region that borders Ethiopia and South Sudan, contain billions of gallons of water, according to UNESCO, which confirmed the existence of the subterranean lakes discovered with the help of a French company using technology originally designed to reveal oil deposits.

The Lotikipi Basin Aquifer is located west of Lake Turkana, the world's largest permanent desert lake, which nonetheless contains alkaline and unpalatable water. The second discovery is the smaller Lodwar Basin Aquifer.

"This newly found wealth of water opens a door to a more prosperous future for the people of Turkana and the nation as a whole," said Judi Wakhungu, Cabinet secretary of the Ministry of Environment, Water and Natural Resources. "We must now work to further explore these resources responsibly and safeguard them for future generations," she said.

"If we use the water sustainably, when it comes to water resources we become very secure," Wakhungu said.

UNESCO says 40 percent of Kenya's 41 million people lack access to safe water, and 28 million do not have adequate sanitation.

NPR's Warner says the subterranean lakes, shaped as scientists describe like a short stack of "interconnected pancakes," are naturally replenished by mountain rain.

"But getting the water to the people could be a challenge," he says. "Turkana is the least developed region of Kenya, just south of a disputed border region and scene of frequent deadly tribal clashes."

Copyright 2013 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

NPR

Stephen Hawking Says Zayn Malik Could Still Be In One Direction In A Parallel Universe

Millions of hearts were broken last month when Zayn Malik left One Direction, but according to physicist Stephen Hawking, that might not be the case after all.
NPR

Competitive Bartender Pours Father's Wisdom Into Signature Drink

Bartender Ran Duan will represent the U.S. in a Bacardi international cocktail competition. His specialty? "Father's Advice," a stirred-not-shaken cocktail that's a testament to his hardworking dad.
WAMU 88.5

Warren Weinstein's Death Has Local Lawmakers Debating Drone Policies

Lawmakers in the D.C. region are mourning the loss of Maryland native Warren Weinstein, who was killed in a U.S. drone strike in Pakistan. The killing has lawmakers debating drone policies once again.
NPR

How Tech Firms Are Helping People In The Nepal Earthquake Zone

Tech and telecom companies stepped up with much needed services. Facebook and Google offered tools to help those in the region let family and friends know they're OK. Other firms cut calling costs.

Leave a Comment

Help keep the conversation civil. Please refer to our Terms of Use and Code of Conduct before posting your comments.